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The Burning Page
Cover of The Burning Page
The Burning Page
Invisible Library Series, Book 3
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Librarian spy Irene and her apprentice Kai return for another "tremendously fun, rip-roaring adventure," (A Fantastical Librarian) third in the bibliophilic fantasy series from the author of The Masked City.

Never judge a book by its cover...

Due to her involvement in an unfortunate set of mishaps between the dragons and the Fae, Librarian spy Irene is stuck on probation, doing what should be simple fetch-and-retrieve projects for the mysterious Library. But trouble has a tendency of finding both Irene and her apprentice, Kai—a dragon prince—and, before they know it, they are entangled in more danger than they can handle...

Irene's longtime nemesis, Alberich, has once again been making waves across multiple worlds, and, this time, his goals are much larger than obtaining a single book or wreaking vengeance upon a single Librarian. He aims to destroy the entire Library—and make sure Irene goes down with it.

With so much at stake, Irene will need every tool at her disposal to stay alive. But even as she draws her allies close around her, the greatest danger might be lurking from somewhere close—someone she never expected to betray her...
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Librarian spy Irene and her apprentice Kai return for another "tremendously fun, rip-roaring adventure," (A Fantastical Librarian) third in the bibliophilic fantasy series from the author of The Masked City.

Never judge a book by its cover...

Due to her involvement in an unfortunate set of mishaps between the dragons and the Fae, Librarian spy Irene is stuck on probation, doing what should be simple fetch-and-retrieve projects for the mysterious Library. But trouble has a tendency of finding both Irene and her apprentice, Kai—a dragon prince—and, before they know it, they are entangled in more danger than they can handle...

Irene's longtime nemesis, Alberich, has once again been making waves across multiple worlds, and, this time, his goals are much larger than obtaining a single book or wreaking vengeance upon a single Librarian. He aims to destroy the entire Library—and make sure Irene goes down with it.

With so much at stake, Irene will need every tool at her disposal to stay alive. But even as she draws her allies close around her, the greatest danger might be lurking from somewhere close—someone she never expected to betray her...
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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  • From the book Chapter 1

    The morning light glittered on the glass windows and on the blades of the guillotines in the central square. Pigeons squabbled noisily in the gutters, audible solely due to the general deadly silence. Only the creaking of cart-wheels and the soft padding of footsteps disturbed the stillness.

    Irene could feel an even greater zone of terrified hush surrounding herself and Kai. Passers-by avoided their gaze, desperate not to attract their attention. It was because of their "borrowed" uniforms, of course: everyone was afraid that someday the National Guard might come for them, to drag them away for counter-revolutionary activities. And then would come prisons, and trials, and then the guillotine . . .

    It made their outfits the perfect disguise for getting around unnoticed. Nobody was going to look twice at the National Guard. In case the National Guard looked back at them.

    With a neat pivot, the two of them turned at the corner of the street and marched down it together, their steps in unison, out of view of the guillotines. Irene felt an illogical sense of relief in response. Even if they weren't out of danger yet, she was spared from having to look at the thing that might chop her head off.

    "How much farther?" Kai murmured out of the side of his mouth. Even in the charmless National Guard uniform-heavy black wool coat and trousers, and tricolour sash-her assistant managed to look almost unrealistically handsome. The sun gleamed on his black hair and touched his face with a glow of pure health and physicality. When walking, he paced like an aristocrat, or a predator, rather than trudging like an ordinary man doing a nine-to-five job. There was very little they could do to disguise that, though. Smears of mud would have been out of place on a Guardsman, and disguising him as an ordinary citizen being taken for questioning would have been too risky.

    "Next street," Irene muttered back. Next to Kai she was comparatively plain, to her occasional regret, and so she was much better at going unnoticed. Her own plain brown hair and regular features took actual work to make them look interesting, or really any more attractive than "neat and tidy." But since most of the time she wanted to go unnoticed, that was a benefit in her line of work.

    Fortunately women served in the National Guard, and she hadn't needed to bind her breasts, or anything like that, to blend in. The European Republic that had spread from the French Revolution in this alternate world was oppressive, vicious, hard-line, and highly dangerous, but it did at least let women get themselves killed in the armed forces. Probably because they needed the manpower, as it were, due to the ongoing wars, but that was another problem.

    They turned the next corner, and Irene flicked a glance towards the raddled old building that was their target. It was barely in one piece: decaying brick was seamed with ivy and cracks, the shutters were locked shut in place and covered with graffiti, and the roof was missing tiles. They marched up to the front door as though they had a perfect right to be there. Kai banged on it, waited for a response, then kicked it open. The two of them stomped inside.

    Kai peered into the darkness. Shafts of light filtered round the edges of the shutters, enough to let them see the utter ruin of the building's interior. The staircase that led up to the first and second floors looked just barely passable, but all the furniture was gone, and the walls were covered with revolutionary dogma. It might once have been a library, but now it was a decrepit barn of a building that would probably have been turned down by passing cows as too...
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 14, 2016
    Cogman’s third Invisible Library novel (after The Masked City), which centers on the enormous interdimensional Library that connects various alternate versions of our world and the doughty Librarians who hunt down rare and magical books, opens with the series protagonists, Irene, a Librarian turned spy, and Kai, her dragon apprentice, placed on probation by the ruling forces of the Library after some unfortunate events involving the dragons and the Fae. Then Irene’s arch nemesis, rogue Librarian Alberich, returns with the intent to disrupt the many worlds he has control over, as well as the Library itself. Irene must intervene, though she fears there may be a double agent in her circle who’s conspiring against her. As in previous installments, Cogman’s writing is fresh, with a rich tonality ranging from the whimsical and witty to the suspenseful. Cogman’s alternative worlds are richly detailed, and her depiction of an alternative Russia is quite magical. The stilted “will they or won’t they” love triangle of Irene and the male leads feels clichéd and tacked on. Apart from that, the story is buoyed by the fast action scenes, and readers will be fascinated by the ever-growing complexities of Cogman’s world. Fans will enjoy immersing themselves in the latest installment of this playful, entertaining series.

  • Library Journal

    December 1, 2016

    Librarian Irene Winters is on probation after the events of The Masked City, but when rogue agent Alberich threatens to destroy the Invisible Library, it's all hands on deck, and that includes Irene and her dragon assistant Kai. She and Kai are sent to St. Petersburg to steal a book when they encounter Alberich, and it is up to Irene to stop this power-mad former librarian. Alberich has a personal vendetta against Irene, using people she thinks she can trust to further his plans. VERDICT This enjoyable series, of which three initial volumes came out in 2016, reliably combines adventure and fantasy. Clever dialog, time-hopping through fun locales, plenty of action, and hints of fresh plotting will have readers looking forward to further library missions.--MM

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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The Burning Page
The Burning Page
Invisible Library Series, Book 3
Genevieve Cogman
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